Bath nests, seats, supports… looking for a baby bathtub can be perplexing for the new or expecting parent. Whether you're still waiting for new arrival, or you're elbows deep in nappy changes and night feeds, you'll undoubtedly have enough to worry about without trying to navigate the tricky world of baby paraphernalia.
So whatever stage you're at, take some of the strain out of your search by considering the key features to look out for – this article will detail those for you. Bear in mind that you may be using this every day for at least the next few months, so it's pays to invest a little time and money into finding the right product for you and your little one.
Firstly, as a new parent your baby's safety is likely to be your number one concern. So save yourself endless elbow dipping and self-doubt by buying a bath with a temperature gauge in built. A water diffuser system is a natural and safe heater that will keep your water at the correct temperature for ten minutes whilst you wash your little one.
Secondly, you'll want to think about the longevity of your purchase. Many new parents make the mistake of buying something that their offspring will grow out of in a matter of weeks, so it's important to remember that the newborn stage doesn't last forever. Look out for something that's advertised for 0-6 month old babies and beyond.
In order for your purchase to stand the test of time, it will need to allow babies to either lie or sit in it. Check to see if you need to buy any additional supports, mats or rings to accommodate your growing child. Try and find something from a reputable supplier that has a number of compatible accessories.
The shape of a tub will vary between suppliers, and it's generally up to you whether you opt for a more traditional shape or a ‘nest' that your baby can either lay or sit in. It's a good idea to read product reviews to see what other parents are saying about the different options available.
Many parents choose to opt for something that's easy to store and transport, like an inflatable tub. The benefits of this type of model are that they are easy to take on holiday and can be put away after use, but bear in mind that you'll have to inflate it every time you want to use it. They usually don't come with temperature control, either.
Bath seats are ideal for older babies from 7 to 16 months, and will accommodate little ones once they are sitting. These can be used in your existing bath and will allow freedom of movement whilst keeping your child secure. Look out for one that is made from silicone for maximum comfort, and make sure it has crotch straps to keep them in place.
Many supports now offer freedom of movement as well as comfort for little ones. These should have suction cups on the bottom to help them stick to your existing tub or nest. Make sure you find one that is compatible with all bath types.
In order to save your back and knees, why not look out for a stand for your tub? This will allow you to stand up and wash your child in any room of the house. Some will even come complete with a draining pipe – so no more heavy lifting or water spillage.
Bear in mind that while all of these models and accessories will ensure your baby has the safest and most comfortable experience possible, they should never be left unattended even for a second. Babies can drown in the tiniest amount of water, so make sure you never take your eyes off them and always keep them within arms reach.